World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States has allocated $40 million to assist relief agencies aiding victims of the Syrian crisis, the Department of State has said. “The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need,” the Department said in a statement.
The U.S. assistance includes “food, clean water, basic health care, and medical and other emergency relief supplies.” The statement also praised the governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq for keeping their countries’ borders open for Syrian refugees.
The United Nations said weeks ago that more than 9000 people had been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. Syrian activists have reported hundreds of new deaths in the past few weeks, including those reported during a ceasefire that has been officially in place in Syria since mid-April.
Earlier this week, UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan who brokered a peace plan to end the 14-month conflict warned that the country was on the brink of a “full civil war” as violence continued despite the presence of UN-backed international monitors tasked with observing the truce.
On Thursday, at least 55 people, mostly civilians, were killed and some 370 injured in two powerful blasts that rocked a highway near the Syrian capital, Damascus, during morning peak hour.
Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday Moscow would not change its position on Syria despite pressure from outside.
“There are people who want to put pressure on us to change our position. We will not concede to this pressure,” he said. Russia and China have twice vetoed the UN Security Council resolutions over what they called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the Syrian uprising, but have given their full backing to Annan’s peace plan.
The Gaza Strip at night as seen from the International Space Station.
76-year-old Fuad Masum, who also served as the first prime minister of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan in 1992-1993, reportedly emerged as the only candidate of the Kurdish blocs.
A missing Air Algerie plane that lost contact en route from Burkina Faso is an Airbus A320 carrying 110 passengers to Algiers
1,300 tonnes of chemicals removed from Syria were now being destroyed at various locations
Nearly 300 people, 193 of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down in eastern Ukraine
Ukraine's army has forced the rebels back to their two main strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, taking villages and suburbs around them
Politicians and activists have complained that while Ukraine has a new president, it has yet to elect a new parliament since the toppling of pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovich
Udaltsov, who has been under house arrest since February 2013, and Razvozhayev were accused of coordinating the protests which turned violent on May 6, 2012
PM's resignation paves the way for an interim government to take over in August and a general election in October
Human rights group B'Tselem will petition Israel's supreme court after advert was deemed to be 'politically controversial'
The bus crossed the track at an unmanned crossing in Telangana state without stopping to check if the way was clear, said Indian Railways spokesman
A huge attack on a prisoner convoy in Iraq has reportedly killed at least 60 people.
Salzburg police said on Thursday around 20 people with flags and placards, mostly Austrians of Turkish origin, stormed the pitch shouting slogans about the Gaza conflict
The leaders of rivals China and Taiwan both expressed condolences over the deaths. Ten people were injured and taken to hospital.
The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Poland had violated articles of the convention on, among others, the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty, and to an effective investigation of their allegations.
More than 50 people have died so far in the violence that has deepened fears post-war Libya is slipping into lawlessness